Category Archives: motivation

Addiction to “noise”

From where I am writing, today is a Sunday (a holy day for Christians) and a hallmark of the day will be going to church for service. The service will encourage people to reflect and introspect on their lives and see how to improve and be better.

But in today’s world listening to oneself has become almost frightening. From Twitter to Facebook , from Snapchat to Instagram , from WhatsApp to Viber we try as much as possible to keep our minds engaged in everything but ourselves. If internet goes down for a minute in your vicinity it will be apocalyptic, if you can’t check your mails for a day, then the world must have ended, if there are no Facebook updates in 5mins then something must be wrong. 

We spend a lot of time connected to virtual reality but disconnected from the reality of our lives.it’s almost like we crave the “noise” so that we may be distracted from the need for reflection and introspection.

If the networks are down we get fixated on the television or the radio or games. When do we stop and listen to ourselves think plan and analyse. 

When was the last time you just sat down and saw the sunset or the sunrise and really marvel at its elegance, when was it you last took a drive just to see the countryside or you just sat with your child to play and tell stories. When last did you have a face to face conversation with your friends that didn’t involve Skype or messenger.

The internet( and technology) has made social interaction simple and extremely easy but it shouldn’t take away from us human and humane interaction, it shouldn’t take the place of self interaction and by all things good it shouldn’t  be a distraction from hearing yourself think.

So take a challenge and shut down all social media and all media for an hour and see if you still recognize the voice of your lonely self.

©Frañcois 

Failure as a stage of success

We live in a world that glorifies success and rightly so. We celebrate the successful and despise the failures, success stories become “motivational” speeches on how to “make it” in life. The successful become celebrities and famous, be it in politics or film ,in industry or science we make celebrities out of those who have achieved.

Now there is nothing wrong in that, except that in celebrating a point in a journey we forget and unconsciously neglect the whole journey. So those who fail amount to nothing, are not reckoned with are despised and  not allowed to talk.

We have naively chosen to forget that success is neither spontaneous nor instantaneous. There is no “big break”, no ” epiphany”, rather success is a  process at the beginning of which you will almost certainly find failure.

The enigma of the Living, is that he who lives has to fail in other to succeed. By trying and failing, you have become a little bit more successful than you were before you failed.

Why?

For every attempt you make to succeed, you break down barriers and obstacles first in your own mind before you go ahead to make an outward effort to be successful. That’s a measure of success; believing that you are more than what you see and striving for greater things.

The problem with failing is not in its nature but in its interpretation. The individual who fails loses self esteem , becomes discouraged, gives up at times , becomes frustrated at other times. But it is in those who see failure as a learning experience and a spring board to try again that you glimpse the power of failure to push , to encourage to motivate to strive more to work harder. It is all because they understand failure not to be the end but a point in the journey just like success ddoes

Some people fail to succeed so they may end up valuing the success more, others succeed without failing they may despise failure and think success is a right, while still some may succeed just to fail ,when they find success again they are wiser and better understand that life is full of points but each stop doesn’t define the journey only the end does.

It is said that the coward dies a thousand times before his death, but I say  the one who fails succedes a thousand times before his triumph.

®Fr

Flowing with life or not…..

It’s an amazing feeling to move without action, at least not any action you perform. To glide through life without any effort on your part.
Swimmers will describe the peace they experience when they just lie back and go where the current carried them. No hand strokes or breast strokes or butterfly strokes ; just be there and the waters will do the rest.
The downside in all this experience is that you end up going where you did not wish to go.
If you don’t have a dream, your life will be spent helping others achieve theirs.
Why flow with life’s currents when you can make an intentional pursuit of a life goal.
Those who are wise said “sustained success is never an accident”. It is intentional, it is planned for and worked towards. When you have an unplanned ” success” ,it doesn’t last. The proceeds of such a success are finished long before you know you were successful.
So, the easy way or the hard way?  Flow with life’s currents or forge your path through the waters of life.

©Fr

Lincoln

This is from the movie Lincoln and I have paraphrased the quote which is ever relevant to us today as we begin a new month.

“I have a compass which only shows true north. It points you true north but doesn’t show you the crevices or swamps or rivers you must cross to get to true north. If in pursuit of your destination you plunge heedless and achieve nothing but to sink in a swamp, then whats the need of knowing true north”

Lesson; What is the essence of knowing what is right if we can’t use that knowledge to become more upright in our dealings with each other. The conscience is the compass of our lives and it will always point true North. Of what importance is it to know your destination in life and then pay no attention to your present reality to allow it help you forge a path to that destination. we must be ready for the unknown in pursuing our goals, the end does not always justify the means.our reality must not be divulged from our path to achieving our goals. We must  be ready to tackle the swamps and crevices we must meet on the way to our goals. We must not look true north and forget that we must forge a path to it.
Do have a profitable month

Fractured Images

The earth’s about five thousand million years old. Who can afford to live in the past?

                                                           Harold Pinter

She has never felt like this before, what is this feeling that she can’t explain? Could this be love, she asks in her mind. And then she remembers and smiles.

This is how her life has been since they met, around him she always felt no need to pretend or to put up facades to protect who she is. With him she was happy being herself. Whenever she hears his voice her heart skips a beat, whenever they are together she yearns to be free like the wind. But in all her happiness she holds back never giving in fully. She is tied down by a haunting memory of decades ago, the memory of an incident that drove her to build walls round her heart. Walls that were meant to keep her from getting hurt. Since the day that memory came into existence she has trusted no man and with good reason too.

Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.

                                                     Christina Rossetti

So now even in her joy and happiness, she is expecting to wake up and find out it’s just a dream. But she hangs on as if on tenterhooks wanting to believe and hoping it’s not a dream.

She can’t remember the last time she had a clear thought since meeting him, her mind is all muddled up and she wonders if she has not lost it. But then if only this feeling can continue she can give her mind for it. In the little moment of “sanity” she gets, she wonders what this feeling is that could break down barriers that are decades strong and still standing. As she begins to get lost in the feeling, the memory comes back more vivid than ever almost in high definition reminding her of what she has suffered and the pain she went through.

She knows the memory was forged in pain and her heart only seeks to protect her; but she must make a decision, either to jump or to stay.

Afraid of tomorrow unknown, guided only by a past experienced she looks at the world through a broken window. So the image she sees is always fractured, fractured by an experience forever etched in her memory. After what seems like an eternity of deliberation, she decides on a course of action.

She decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown, into this vortex of feelings she doesn’t understand she decides to give herself. She decides that her past will no longer define her; she has to live to shame the memory that haunts her and has kept her in chains for decades. She decides to love him as much as he loved her and to open her heart fully to his embrace. And since she took that decision, she has never had course to worry and has never looked back.

Dedicated to all sexually abused women who are finding it hard to give their hearts fully to another.

Small Victories

I don’t know much about love either,

except that it gets all mixed up with things

 that don’t have anything to do with it. 

And that it’s awfully hard to find.

                                                            Marita Golden

I recently read the story of an exceptional girl in Canada. Her name is Na’ama Uzan. She was born two years after her elder brother Nadav. She grew up seeing her brother suffer serious health challenges; from recurrent seizures to speech abnormalities and other neurological delays. Her brother has Angelman syndrome which is a rare Neuro-developmental disorder with no known cure. Knowing her brother sickness was incurable, she came up with a novel idea to raise $100 to contribute towards the research for a cure for the syndrome. To achieve this, in the spring of last year 2014 when she was still 4 years old, she started a lemonade stand in the community where they live hoping that by selling glasses of lemonade she can make up the money. Over the months the stand evolved to include muffins and chocolates among other things. This according to the little girl was all aimed at making a contribution to a research foundation for Angelman syndrome, so they can quickly find a cure for her brothers’ sickness.

When community members got to know the purpose of the lemonade stand they went out of their way to contribute to the fund and as of today she has raised a little over $25,000 for the foundation with another $21,000 raised on her behalf by parents of a boy who also has the disease in California, USA.

In respect of her contribution the Foundation For Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST) has been able to establish the Na’ama Uzan FAST-TRAC Award (Targeted Research to Advance a Cure),  and promised that every cent she raised is going to Angelman specific research.

She made a difference in the world and most importantly her brother’s life at age 5. She wasn’t a genius or an entrepreneur, or an athlete. She was just a little girl who wanted her brother to be better.

It is not by spectacular achievements 

that man can be transformed, but by will.

                                                               Henrik Ibsen

A lot of times we have been made to believe that it takes a lot to make a difference, that we need all the money in the world or all the talent in the world or that our little contributions will not matter, that only the big ones count. And that’s the malady of today’s society. So we grow up waiting to “make it” before we think of making a difference, we focus on acquisitions so that we can be better positioned to make a difference and yet the irony is that even with all we have and strive for, we still miss out on making a difference in the way that it counts.

The small things are the ones that matter a lot, the homeless man you pass on your way to work every day does not need you to build him a house, he just might need a warm meal, the destitute girl that greets you as you enter your office building may just need your advice and a listening ear. Small victories aggregate to become big ones.

If you cannot help in small measure, by what force do you think you can give when the measure is big. Charity has never been known to demand a lot from us it is always the least that it begs for, attention is what it screams for but never gets. Oftentimes we throw money at circumstances that we could have talked people out of, situations that a listening ear could have made a difference we write checks for.

Don’t get me wrong, money is good to solve problems and propagate charity and indeed make a difference, but paying attention is much better. Because it’s in paying attention that we can really know the problems money can solve and the ones human communication can solve.

How do you make a difference? There is no syllabus for this, and you can start from where you are presently. Do not look for recognition and awards because that is not the goal. You can volunteer to serve food in a soup kitchen near you; you can give out your used clothes to the homeless man on your street. You can offer conversation time to a destitute that seems to need it. It is endless the small things we can do to make a difference in somebody’s life. You might not be appreciated by the person or by society but you are laying a solid foundation to be a better you.

There was this single father who was left with his daughter after his divorce with his wife. As the girl was growing he found it hard to make her hair, as simple as that sounds to women. Eventually deciding he needed help he approached a cosmetologist colleague who gave him advice to get some training in hair dressing. He did, and today his daughter is the better for it, he has made tremendous difference in his daughters’ life. Even if she doesn’t appreciate the gesture now, in later years she will understand the sacrifice her dad made so he could make an awesome difference in her life.

Little things not big things.

As you reflect on these stories and the suggestions swirling in your mind about how best to make a difference, remember that it is about giving and not counting the cost, doing good without expecting a reward. Go out there and make a positive difference in your community.